US Sportsbooks Halt College Football Betting as Big Ten, PAC-12 Reportedly Suspend Fall Seasons
Posted on: August 10, 2020, 12:05h.
Last updated on: August 10, 2020, 02:49h.
Right now, there are more questions than answers when it comes to the upcoming college football season. Sports radio host Dan Patrick reported Monday morning on his show that there’s no consensus between the Power 5 conferences in the sport.
Reports came out later in the day that the Big Ten and PAC-12 are suspending the fall football because of the coronavirus crisis, with formal announcements planned for Tuesday. Meanwhile, the SEC is reportedly looking to get other teams to join them for a fall season, Patrick said.
As for the Big 12 and ACC, they’re somewhere in-between, although Louisville coach Scott Satterfield told reporters Monday that the ACC wants to play in the fall.
What we understand is the ACC is moving forward, and we’re relying on our medical group at the ACC,” Satterfield said. “And what they’re are projecting to us is that we’re moving forward with everything. So that’s where we are today. We know how things change and how fluid it is, but that’s where we are.”
That comes after the Mid-American Conference, a smaller Football Bowl Subdivision league, announced Saturday it would postpone all fall sports this year with a plan to resume in the spring.
Other schools aren’t even waiting for their conference to make the call. Old Dominion University in Virginia, a Conference USA school, announced Monday morning that fall sports would be postponed. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Nebraska officials have hinted the Cornhuskers may buck their Big Ten brethren and look to play this fall.
Popular for Bettors
Even as the uncertainty grew, odds were still available for college football’s championship over the weekend. This comes as the conferences, some as recently as just a few days ago, announced drastically revised schedules for the fall, with regular-season games in some limited to conference-only teams.
PointsBet and FanDuel had taken their boards down by 1 p.m. ET. A short time later, William Hill pulled its college odds. DraftKings also suspended betting on the national championship, but still offered odds on all of the Power 5 conference crowns, except for the Big Ten.
“College football is very popular. It varies a bit, but it is usually a top four sport,” FanDuel Director of Publicity Kevin Hennessy told Casino.org Monday morning. “We are taking things as they come. Once official notices are set, we will make adjustments for our customers.”
While college football is a significant market for sportsbooks, they may not feel as much of a hit from a season that’s suspended or offers far fewer games, since the NBA and NHL will both be playing into October. The NFL also may absorb some of the handle that would have gone to college football.
Heisman Odds Affected, Too
Odds on the national title or conference championships aren’t the only ones affected by the decisions happening at a team and conference level. It also will have an impact on Heisman Trophy odds.
In some cases, players have taken it on their own to opt out. Last week, Purdue’s all-purpose standout Rondale Moore, a dark horse Heisman candidate, made the decision to focus on the spring NFL Draft.
Before PointsBet suspended bets on college football, Patrick Eichner, PointsBet’s director of communications, said the sportsbook was taking a wait-and-see approach to the season. Canceled games would be voided and refunded, as would any futures bets on players who chose to opt out.
Fingers crossed they can have a season,” he told Casino.org.
Other players may face similar decisions if schools and conferences try to play in the spring. Do they risk an injury and a precipitous fall from the draft board to pursue a national title or Heisman? And, of course, if a game-changer like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence sits out, that would change the Tigers title odds quite a bit.
Lawrence, though, has been one of the more outspoken players on Twitter over the weekend, helping promote the “#WeWantToPlay” hashtag on social media. He was joined by numerous other college stars, including Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, who has been considered the primary rival to Lawrence for the Heisman this year.